“The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is excited to work with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative because of our commitment to ending childhood poverty, hunger, and obesity,” said Moderator of the 219th General Assembly, Elder Cynthia Bolbach. “We believe that ‘poverty in a world of abundance is an intolerable violation of God's good creation’[i] and hunger and obesity are symptoms of such poverty. It is our responsibility as individuals, as the church and as a nation to eliminate the root causes of hunger.”
Therefore, the PC(USA) is issuing a challenge for 1,000 congregations to participate this year in activities that will reduce the root causes of hunger and obesity in our communities.
Participation may involve, but is not limited to, hosting a farmers’ market or starting a community garden; helping families in the congregation and the community connect to services for which they are eligible, such as WIC and SNAP (formerly knows ad the Food Stamp Program); becoming a Summer Food Service Program site; talking to convenience and retail stores about stocking healthier and local food options; and much more.
Visit the PC(USA) Let’s Move site to sign up a congregation for this important challenge.
In addition, the Presbyterian Health Network (PHN), a grassroots volunteer ministry network of the Presbyterian Health, Education & Welfare Association (PHEWA), is committed to raising awareness of chronic disease in PC(USA) congregations from the public health angle, which includes education about nutrition, exercise and weight control for the entire family.
And the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., is active in advocating for just federal policies that serve hungry communities and to empowering Presbyterians to do their own advocacy on these issues.
“We’re aware that Presbyterian congregations have credibility in local communities because of years of strong witness. This challenge is a way to further local ministry and create healthier food systems that serve us all,” said Ruth Farrell, coordinator of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.